Pelourinho is much more than a neighborhood of Salvador, it is the city's historical and cultural center. Although it is considered to be the city center it seems to be away from the reality of the city. Portuguese baroque architecture predominates and contrasts the colors of the statues and the fabrics from souvenir shops. Situated high up in the city and harbor front, wealthy families of this residential neighborhood lived and suffered during the 60 years of social degradation thus it became marginalized. However, thanks to its recognition as a Unesco world heritage site it is re-emerging as the colorful and lively cultural center of Salvador. Tiled floors leads you up the street, down the street is the Jorge Amado Foundation, the Museum Gourmet of Bahia, endless craft shops and numerous samba groups. Pelourinho has color, music, art, and ultimately, life.
The Lacerda elevator has been working almost 140 years transporting visitors to the Bahia , more than 30,000 people per day, from the harbor area to the upper area, more than 90 meters high, where the city was constructed for defensive reasons. I used to take the elevator to go up, but felt like walking, and also recommend trying the funicular Gonçalves.
A must in Salvador: The Church of Our Lord of Bonfim. Located in Holy Hill and built in the eighteenth century in a colonial neoclassic style, the church is a major site of pilgrimage throughout the year. Legend has it that when the construction was finished in 1773, the slaves were forced by members of the "Brotherhood of the Devotees Leigos" to wash the church as part of the preparation for the festival of "Senhor do Bonfim " which is always on the second Sunday of January, after the Epiphany. Over time, those of the "Candomblé" religion (brought from Africa with the slaves) began to associate the image of Senhor do Bonfim with the Orixá Oxalá god of their own religion. As Candomblé was not accepted by the church, the local archiepiscopal banned the washing of the interior for this reason and the ritual was transferred to the stairs instead. This ritual is still followed today and has become a tourist attraction. The area is full of people in folklore costumes that the slaves used in their days. They wash the stairs with scented water and lay flowers while singing hymns and religious songs. Another tradition is the more modern "do Senhor do Bonfim fitinha." In Salvador and in other cities of Bahia you´ll find find small colored fabric ribbons or bracelets with three knots. Each knot represents a wish of the Senhor do Bonfim. At the gates of the church, you can see thousands of these representing thousands more ve wish to spend time there.
San Salvador is a city in northern Brazil, capital of the state of Bahia, and known as the "colonial capital of Brazil". It has the largest population of any city in northeastern Brazil, and the third-largest in the country. It is a magical city, where all the religions you could imagine coexist without any problems ... Roman Catholics, Evangelicals, Pentecostals, Jehovah's Witnesses, Spiritualists, the Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church, etc. Wherever you go, you'll find hundreds of churches, some big and sumptuous, others small and simple. They're usually colonial buildings with white walls and warm ornamentation. Many religious festivals are celebrated here, including the feast days of San Cosme, St. Damian, Nuestra Señora de la Concepción, Santa Barbara, Santa Lucia, and most importantly, Our Lord of Bonfim. Anyone who has read a book by Jorge Amado will understand the inspiration felt by that great poet when they come to Bahia.
Estella Maris is located north of Salvador de Bahia. It is one of the most beautiful beaches of the city, and it's not very popular with tourists. At night there are concerts, and there are plenty of bars around the place. I recommend the Barraca Barcelona, with a charming Catalan owner. You'll see joggers, fishermen, hawkers, surfers, tourists, capoeira fighters, and many palm trees hypnotising travelers. Before traveling to Brazil, buy sunscreen 30 because here it's hard to find good sunscreen. And be careful not to tread on a crab!
Itacare is located on the southern coast of Bahia in Brazil. There are three beaches you can walk to from the city. All the beachers are fully integrated with the natural environment. Outside the city there are spectacular hidden beaches and nature trails ... Let me explain: In order to reach these beaches you must follow a walking trail through the Atlantic Forest (jungle), protected by UNESCO. The trails vary between 800m to 1800m. When you go through the vegetation your eyes will be open. ... Heavenly beaches with white sand and flirty waters! Voila, a paradise for surfers and mere mortals who want uncrowded beaches. However, beware, anything you bring with you have to take back. Police will fine you for leaving bottles, papers, trash, etc. ... With the nearest airport only 70km away (Ilheus), Itacare is worth it.
Praia do Forte is a place I went in 1996, it is a fishing ... Today it is a quiet town, very pretty, maintaining and preserving nature, living on tourism. A project of sea turtles and whales can be spotted in Jubart. You can take several ecological tours. The reserve Sapiranga has rivers and waterfalls ... Atlantic Forest vegetation preserved. Worth a visit! Very good if you like diving and surfing! Cycling and walking is a blast!
The orishas are descendants of Olòòrun divinities. The belief belongs to the religion Candomblé in Brazil but the belief is widespread in many countries like Cuba (Santeria). It has about a million followers worldwide. In Brazil there are 6 of the most important, each representing a day of the week and has a specific type of "protection". The most important in Brazil is Iamanjá or Goddess of the sea and they celebrate her day on the 2nd of February.
The Tamar Project was created in 1980, by the Brazilian Institute for Forestry Development which later became IBAMA-Brazilian Institute of the Environment. Its main objective is the preservation of five types of sea turtles in Brazil, which it achieves by protecting 1,100 miles of beaches with 23 bases that are responsible for the feeding, care, and growth of the "tartarugas". The name is short for "tartaruga marinha". The website has details of the project with pictures ... although of course, the best thing to do is come to Brazil to see it in person.
We had a story about that house .. the day before we envisioned the top of a hill .. half submerged in water .. When we went to the beach the next day we found it and took some pictures. Then we had to cross a small little lake that was formed .. then proceed to other beaches .. In the afternoon when we returned, the the small little lake was now a river! We weren't able to cross until a kind gentleman came and took us over in his boat.
This market is a must-visit in the capital of the state of Bahia - Salvador. The Market Model brings in more than 260 craft, painting, food, and drink shops. Built in 1861 in the Neoclassical architectural style, it is considered part of the artistic heritage of Brazil. Located in the "Comercio - cidade baixa", from outside the market you can see the Porto de Salvador, Lacerda Elevator (Another must-visit tourist spot) and typical rounds of Capoeira. In terms of craftsmanship you can find everything: paintings, the famous "fitinhas do Senhor do Bonfim" (used for wishes), clay or wood dolls and a multitude of small gifts. To get better prices there you have to haggle ...
Considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil, the Praia do Espelho is on the south coast of Baha. It's hard to get to, even today! After leaving the road, you'll need to follow a dirt road to take you to paradise. Many stay in Trancoso and go back and forth, where there are plenty of hotels. One way or another, a visit to Espelho is something that everyone should experience at least once. I've been here twice, and I hope to go back!